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Myth buster - Pedigree ZA
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Facts about our food

There are some myths around about what goes into our dog food. We’ve heard the rumours,
and we’ve seen the websites that claim to have the inside track on our ingredients.

Pedigree® | Can food ingredients
Pedigree® | ingredient bulletin
Pedigree® | myth steak


Your dog needs plenty of meaty protein in its diet, so we always use between 30% and 60% meat and animal derivatives in Pedigree tinned food. Pedigree dry foods contain an average of 20% meat and animal derivatives. The meat content is balanced with carbohydrates (from cereals and vegetables), vitamins and minerals, plus the jelly or gravy for added doggy enjoyment and taste.

Pedigree® myth vegetables

Vegetable derivatives

‘Vegetable derivatives’ describes ingredients that come from plants. At the right levels, these provide benefits for dogs, like antioxidants – vital for keeping your dog’s immune system strong and healthy – and prebiotic fibre to keep your dog’s digestive system working effectively.

Pedigree® myth sugar cane


Contrary to popular belief, sucrose or ‘table sugar’ isn’t added during the manufacture of our dog food. However, we do add small amounts of caramel (less than 0.5g per 100g) to some Pedigree products as an alternative to artificial colourings.

These small amounts of sugar don’t affect your dog’s dental health. In fact, scientific studies have shown that dogs aren’t susceptible to sugar-related dental diseases in the way humans are.

There’s no link between sugar in food and diabetes in dogs. If you’d like to reduce your dog’s risk of developing diabetes, the best thing you can do is keep an eye on their weight.

Pedigree® myth cereals picture


Cereals like wheat, corn and rice provide just the right balance of energy and fibre. Carbohydrates in cereals give your dog energy so that they’re as keen on walkies as you are. While fibre helps their body absorb nutrients, and helps keep them regular too.

Pedigree® myth colouring


We don’t use any artificial colourings in Pedigree. All the natural colourings we use in Pedigree dog food are approved by the EU – in fact, you’ll find several of the same colourings in human food products. An ‘E number’ just means that it’s been assessed and approved by the EU.

Pedigree® | Yellow bull and brown chicken

Animal Derivatives

‘Animal derivatives’ is a legal term that describes some of the meat we use – the non-flesh parts of the animal carcass. It might not sound all that appetising, but it includes meat that your dog really loves – things like liver and heart.

These cuts of meat are rich sources of micronutrients like taurine, which helps to keep your dog’s eyes and heart healthy. Lean meats like chicken breast are great for humans, but not necessarily best for your dog – they don’t contain all the vitamins your dog needs.

All the meat we use in Pedigree always comes from animals passed fit for human consumption

Bones are a good source of calcium and phosphorus – vital for keeping your dog’s teeth and bones strong and healthy.

There are EU regulations on the definition of and quality of animal derivatives, including the Animal By-Products regulations (1774/2002/EC).

Pedigree® myth inorganic

Inorganic matter

Inorganic matter, or ash, is a legal term that all pet foods are required to declare on the label. Contrary to popular belief, ash in pet food is not collected from a fireplace or added for bulk. It’s simply a measure of the mineral content of the pet food.

It’s called ash because of the way it’s measured: by heating the pet food to around 550°C, and then burning off all the organic components to leave just the inorganic residue – or ash.

Dog foods with a high ash content are often made with low-quality meat ingredients, and they have high mineral levels that could be dangerous for the long-term health of your dog.

Pedigree provides your dog with all the essential vitamins and minerals, in just the balance they need to stay fit and healthy throughout their life

Pedigree® yellow myth salt


Dogs have evolved to eat meat-based diets that are naturally rich in sodium, an essential mineral that’s found in salt. So a small amount of salt in your dog’s diet is essential to keep your dog’s metabolism healthy. We ensure the salt in all our dog food is at the right levels, as determined by the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition.

Top myths busted

We only use 4% meat in our dog food
On the label, we always state which meat the recipe is based around – like beef, chicken, or lamb. So a beef variety might say on the label: ‘meat and animal derivatives (beef minimum 4%)’. Sometimes people think this means that there’s only 4% meat in Pedigree food. That’s not true – it’s simply a legal requirement to state that the product contains at least 4% of the meat named on the label (in this case beef).

As well as the main meat, recipes can also contain other meats, such as chicken, turkey, lamb or tripe. This is because all the meat we use is fresh, and we rely on our butchers to provide us with the best meat currently available – no animals are slaughtered just to make Pedigree. The meat available depends on the season, and on the farms that supply us, so we vary some of the meats in our food depending on what’s available on the day. This way we can ensure your dog gets the right nutrition and the best quality food every time.